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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  December 25, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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it's been a real pleasure talking to my colleagues at cnn international. i hope you've enjoyed it as well. in a few days they'll be gone, gone to where the stories takes them next. happening next. been a great hour. a remarkable year. a remarkable year. thanks for watching. -- captions by vitac -- tonight, last time he was here he made headlines by saying this -- >> homosexuality is a sin in your eyes? >> yeah, the scriptures show it's a sin. >> and he'll be back and answering some more tough questions. how do you explain that a just god can allow these kind of atrocities to happen? >> the world we live in is not a perfect world. >> what is your view of state execution? >> i'm for second chances and
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mercy. yet, there's consequences for what we have done. >> if i ask you about abortion, what would you say? >> every baby should live. >> do you like interviewing or do you find it a mine field? >> i like it. >> tonight, the olesteens. >> we're still praying for you. my favorite guest, never afraid to tackle the tough questions. such a lively conversation the first them they were, i invited them back. what better time to revisit than now. now, you're here, because you have this great new book. "every day is a friday, how to be happy seven days a week." you were two of the happiest people i met anyway. how can you get any happeniier? >> i think we all can if we
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learn what to ignore. i think we can be improving and growing and being happier. >> why fridays? because when i came to new york in particular, i was horrified that on fridays my staff all came in dressed like, you know, people on the street. because it was apparently dress down friday. and i was like, what does that mean? apparently it means you dress badly, wearing jeans and old t-shirts. i associate friday with this unkempt sort of misery. why have you selected friday as a day of great joy and happiness? >> the studies show that people are happier on fridays. >> why? >> people are looking forward to the weekends, getting to relax. done with work. also, i read, i read where there's more heart attacks on monday. >> the stress of going back to work. is that because people don't enjoy their jobs. i don't know about you, but i like mondays. on fridays, everything slows
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down, you're not really working as hard, i don't like it. >> i'm the same way. of course we workweekends a weei enjoy that. the thought is in general, thank god it's friday, you've heard that, but we have the right perspective. we don't have to dread going to work. even if it's not the perfect job. when you have the right perspective and you think, hey, i'm alive, i have a lot right in my life, you can enjoy each day. maybe not jumping up and down, b but you can enjoy it. >> but with your book you make your own decisions and your life will be happier. lots of people through circumstance are not really in the position to do much about their lot in life. it's an easy thing to say and the critics will say, you're worth $100 million, but what about the guy what's trapped in the factory job or no job, who through lack of opportunity, a bad circumstance, is unhappiness because he can't get out of
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that? >> well, piers, to me faith is learning about how to be happy where you are. you know, there are many people that are in a situation that seems like they're stuck. but my life is if you put your trust in god, you can have peace, you can be happy right where you there's absolutely no point if you don't get happy where you you don't want get to you you want to be. you ha you have to say, god, i'm at a job i don't like, but i'm going to put a smile on my face anyway. when you do that, you're rele e releasing your faith. >> do you believe fundamentally that money can make people happier? >> you know -- >> you're shaking your head. why? >> well, i mean, it helps. it helps, but no, i have seen people who are very wealthy and they're unhappy. they don't have good relationships or have bad health. >> i think i have met more
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unhappy rich people. i went to soweto township, they're living in poverty and their spirits were alive with happiness i. couldn't understand it. i don't understand it. but it was a fact. i saw it with my own eyes. why is that? you must have been in many of the places over the years. why can poverty stricken people sometimes find joy in their lives? >> i think there's not so many distractions, they have their priorities where they love their family, they're with their family, they don't have a million things getting them off course. they take every day for what it is. getting up and enjoying family time and not fighting a lot of the battles. >> does he ever get angry? is he always this content, happy chap? >> angry, no. is he happy? yes. i'm sure there are things that -- >> what gets him to flip out? >> i don't think he flips out,
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but he likes things to be right. you know, i have watched him when things aren't right and he chooses to see the best in the situation. he's great about finding what is right. you know, because, you know, a lot of people have a tendency to look at the wrong -- one wrong thing. >> come on. you never heard him shout? >> no. >> never shouted? >> if you live with me and you don't shout you're pretty good. >> you're quite a live wire from what i remember in the last interview. you can be a live wire. >> i like to keep things hopping. >> do you have a temper? >> i have grown out of my temper living with him. i don't have a temper. >> so he's this kind of bastion of calm? >> he's infectious. >> you never shout at anybody? >> no, that's not my personality. i have been like this my whole life. >> you have never shouted in your life? >> well, i probably have. you know? >> when was the last time? >> i can't remember. >> he doesn't really shout. but he have a look when he's
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aggravated. >> what's that? >> it's like -- >> that's when you know -- >> it's like, okay, kids, let's go. let's go. >> what frustrates -- what can ruin your friday? >> you know, i don't know if it would ruin my friday, but like she said i like things to be right. you know, i like organization. you know, i like to -- i expect excellence, but not in the wrong sense. but i believe we're supposed to be excellent. if we put things into place and people aren't doing their job, there are some things you think, okay, guys, let's get going. but i choose -- to use that energy to make things right and not just to yell at people or anything like that. >> what about a fistfight? >> i never have. i never have. >> not when you were a kid? >> probably with my brother. >> that doesn't count. brothers deserve it. >> you would wrestle with your body. >> ever been punched in the face? >> no. >> never? >> never have. >> incredible life you have had. >> i have been blessed. >> have you been punched in the
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face? >> yes. many times. yeah. i thought it was part of life's rich tap esty. i could have had a life of total serenity. >> no. we have challenges. you know, the scripture calls it fighting the good fight of faith. you know god's in control. i used to get frustrated when things weren't happening the way i wanted to or you know what? i had things worked out, but now i have learned to say, god, here's my plans for today. if it doesn't work out, i believe you're in control, that you're opening the right doors. what we don't hear a lot, sometimes god closes a door on purpose. i just think that was a good opportunity. why didn't it work out? i've learned to trust. >> we have the tenth anniversary of 9-11 recently. it was extraordinary being in america. i was in new york soon after it happened. for the anniversary and so on. it is very hard to tell god fearing people who have prayed all their lives, it's very hard to tell them if they lost
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relatives in that kind of thing that there is a merciful god. i mean, they all -- i see them being interviewed. particularly if they're devout christians, what do you say to them? how do you explain that a just god can allow these kind of atrocities to happen, ruining so many lives? >> you know, it's difficult, piers, but the world we live in is not a perfect world. we are living in a fallen world. to simplify it, god has given us our free choice. we can do what we want to do and unfortunately some people choose to do evil. god didn't make us as robots. it is hard to explain because god is good. god could have stopped it, but he didn't. but there's much about faith i don't understand. >> is your faith -- does your faith ever get dented? it always sounds unequivocal. i listen you on sunday mornings and you're an inspiring speaker.
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i have had relatives who renounced their catholic faith after living through the holocaust and they couldn't understand a god who could have 5 million jews have their lives taken in a ghastly manner. i find it difficult to argue. what do you say to people i can't continue have this faith, because some appalling thing have happened? >> that hatches from time to time. i go back to the fact, having faith means you'll have unanswered questions. so i can't explain why, you know, parents will come to me and their little child has cancer. i still believe -- >> what do you say to them? >> god has you in the palm of his hand. none of this is a surprise to god. our hearts break with you, but we'll pray for you and god is going to give you a strength you never felt before. and if you turn to god and turn to your faith, and you don't get bitter and start blaming god and
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give up on your dreams, i believe somehow, some way that god can bring good out of it. he can give you a new beginning and know you'll never get your loved one back. but god can make the rest of your life fulfilling. >> have you ever had your faith dented? >> no, i never have. you know, like what joel is saying, a lot of times we -- we want to see happen everything. god is a supernatural god, and he can bring grace and comfort into your life by a state of peace and joy. even though -- >> i have moments, for example, when something bad has happened in your life or something has affect you badly and you prayed to god to have that situation end in a happy way, and then it hasn't, so your prayers haven't been answered. in that circumstance do you not feel slightly let down? >> you know what? i can't tell god what to do. i can ask god what to do. i can ask him to do things for
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me. but i know he has my best interest at heart. it may not look good, but some good can come out of it. you can't bring people back. you can't bring things back that you have lost sometimes, but god has a way of getting you out of yourself and into a new place in your life. >> let's take a little break and talk about executions which is a burning issue right now. many people believing that america should now join most of the rest of the world and abandon executions. [ female announcer ] help i need a holiday party idea. mmm... pillsbury crescent wrapped brie just unroll, wrap the brie and bake. it's so easy. now this might even impress aunt martha. pillsbury crescent wrapped brie. holiday ideas made easy.
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i am what he says i am. i have what he says i have. i can do what he says i can do. today i will be taught the word of god. i boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, i will never be the same. >> i'm back with joel and victoria osteen. do you ever watch yourself back on tv? >> i do. i still edit my sermons. >> do you? >> i still edit them. i edit them with somebody now. but i did that 17 years for my dad. so after i speak my sermon on sundays, i like to edit it
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because i know where i messed up or where i could do better. you know how you do with editing now. >> i watch you. it's almost always word perfect. you have an extraordinary style. how have you developed that? >> well, my mother has had a great memory. and when i started, my dad just spoke extemporaneously and just would go. i couldn't do that. i had to write out what i'm going to say. i lot of mine, i put in me. i go over it two or three hours a couple days before, and i get it so much in me that it can come out pretty good now. >> huge pressure because you have so many people tuning in for these sermons. you can't get them wrong, can you? every word gets analyzed. >> you do. it makes me very responsible in what i'm going to say because people are going to -- you know, some people are making decisions based off of what you're saying. you've got to say, okay. how is this coming across? this is the way i mean it, but is it coming across that way? so i try to think through it a lot. >> there was a recent survey i found quite fascinating. "new york times" named you one of the most influential figures worldwide on twitter. you actually beat people like
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lady gaga, justin bieber, rachel maddow, arianna huffington. some of the big tweeters themselves. because they deemed that your influence which they assessed by the number of your tweets that were retweeted actually exceeded all of them. that shows you you've got proper influence and i would say power. >> well, i felt very honored when i heard that. but we found, piers, people come to us for inspiration for those little quotes. so we try to stay really focused on what can i speak to people that will help improve their day? my tweets are not about what i did that day. it's always about something that they can use. i think when you give people good material, they like to pass it on because, you know, the fact is there's a lot pushing us down these days. there's a lot of negativity. so when you tell somebody go out and be good to somebody today, make somebody else's day and god will make your own day, you give them small tidbits like that, you know, that resonates on the inside. >> one of the key things in the book is forgiveness of sins is one of the central tenets of christianity in many ways. i know you're by nature a very
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forgiving man. i've watched you do these sermons and interviewed you before about this. what is your view of state executions? and specifically the troy davis thing which happened recently where by common consent there was enough doubt that that man really could not be 100% said to have committed the crime. certainly no dna evidence. what do you think of the whole issue? >> you know, it's a complicated issue, piers. i haven't thought a whole lot about it. but, of course, you know, i'm for second chances and mercy. yet the flip side is there's consequences for what we've done. and so i don't know what my total stance is because i'm so full of -- >> a life for a life? >> well, i don't know that that's -- you know, it's hard -- >> i don't think you can say that. and i've had this debate with you before about these things. you can't be the man who influences millions of people and sit on the fence about key moral issues like that. key moral stroke ethical issues. you've got to have a view, haven't you? >> well, i think the thing is, is we have a justice system.
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and i believe in our system of justice, number one. part of me, the human part of me, the merciful part of me is, wow, let's just give everybody a chance and if there is any -- it's hard for me to say, yeah, let's kill this person because he's so bad. you know, they can be redeemed. they can be forgiven, yet they may still have to be put to death. that's hard for me. i don't know what's the right thing. there's people smarter than me that make all the laws. i do stand by our system of justice. >> two-thirds of all executions in america have taken place in five states. most of them southern states near where you're from. including texas. texas is well known to be -- in fact may even be the highest in terms of executions for any state in america. so i guess the part of your issue, unless i'm wrong, is that a lot of your brethren that come to watch you presumably would support the death penalty? >> sure, i think so. i think -- i don't know for a fact. but i think many of them -- many people do. and, you know, i just again, i don't know the right answer.
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it's hard for me to tell someone to be put to death. >> but if you came out particularly in somewhere like texas you, joel osteen, came out and said, enough. i don't think we can continue with this. particularly based on the facts. joel, my problem with the whole death penalty debate are the statistics these days are alarming. over 100 people in america on death row have had their sentences commuted because of new evidence. 17 of them because dna evidence proved they didn't commit the crime. when you hear that, surely you begin to think that this isn't right. and you have a lot of influence in your state. people will be watching this thinking, well, what does he think? is he in favor of state killings or is he actually against it? because they might take their lead from you. >> well, piers, i don't know that i'm the one to give the final answer on that. >> you're the perfect guy to ask. >> yes, piers, because i'm not studied on it and i stay focused on what i feel like i'm called to do. i'm just careful about -- you
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know, it's a more complicated issue that that, than to just throw something out there and create a lot of waves. so that's probably the reason i just -- >> if i asked you about abortion, what would you say? >> well, abortion i feel stronger about because i feel like -- >> what's your view? >> my view is that every baby should live. that god's created that life. and so, again, that's what i feel stong strongly about. >> there's a contradiction between the sanctity of life with an abortion and the sanctity of life for somebody who may or may not have committed a crime. >> sure. >> should there not be a more consistent view? >> well, i think there could be when you say may or may not. that's the troublesome thing, if we don't know for sure. >> how can you know for sure really? very few cases are completely clear cut. and really it comes down just to a general principle, whether in a modern, civilized society, especially in a country with many, many people, millions, tens of millions go to church every sunday. they kind of look to religious leaders to say what should we be thinking? they'll all be a bit confused.
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so you know, i know i do this to you when you come on. but i sort of feel like you need to be more definitive. >> yeah. well, if i could, i would. but let me study it and i'll come back with a great answer someday for you. >> let's have a little break and i'll come back and pin you to the floor on another issue where i tried to pin you on the floor before and see whether your views have changed about homosexuality in light of the fact that we now have five states in america who support same-sex marriage. [ older brother ] hey, that's the last crescent. [ younger brother ] oh, do you want it? yeah. ok, we'll split it. [ female announcer ] made fresh, so light... ...buttery and flaky... this is half. that is not half.
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back with my guests, the osteens. and it's been somewhat of a contentious issue, joel. last time you came on this show, the pair of you, you were excellent guests, this happened. i want to talk about this after because it made a few headlines. >> is homosexuality a sin in your eyes? >> yes. i've always believed, piers, the scripture shows that it's a sin. but, you know, i'm not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they're terrible people and all that.
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>> so i suppose the obvious question is, we did that back in january. has your position changed at all after that? because it raised a lot of headlines, a lot of controversy. since then more states have endorsed same-sex marriage. it's becoming much less of a prohibitive kind of issue than it used to be. what's your view now? >> you know, piers, it really never changes because mine's based out of the scripture. that's what i believe that the scripture says, that homosexuality is a sin. so, you know, i believed it before and i still believe it now. again, i would just reiterate what i said. i'm not after -- i'm not mad at anybody. i don't dislike anybody. but, you know, respecting my faith and believing, you know, in what the scripture says, that's the best way i can interpret it. >> but, i mean, shouldn't the scripture be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age? we were talking before the break about the issue of eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. not everything in the scriptures really is in my view conducive
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to modern life. i mean, like everything else, doesn't it have to move with the times? and isn't it down, again, to people like you to interpret it in a way that evolves? you're known as a very progressive preacher. >> sure. well, i want to be progressive. but sometimes when i read it i can't see how you would change that. just like you wouldn't change some other main things in the scripture. i don't see how that -- if you don't have a basis of truth -- and that's what i base mine off of. the scripture. everybody else doesn't and i don't fault them if they don't. but this is just the way i choose to live my life and what i teach based out of the scripture. i think personally 200 years from now the scripture's still going to say that. >> yes, but the law of the land may not and it may not in your state. and the law of the land is changing fast. and your argument about executions was, well, it's the law of the land in somewhere like texas. what if texas eventually -- at the moment it's an unlikely place, i would imagine, to bring this in. but it may change with enough pressure.
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texas brings in a law that same-sex marriage is permissible. how would you feel then if it's the law of the land? >> well, you know, i'm going to respect the law and i'm going to respect gay people like i do now. you know, we have plenty of people that come to our church and friends i would call that are gay. so i'm going to respect that. i think where it puts a difficult situation is me being a christian pastor, believing in the scripture, it would be against my faith to marry two gay people. >> you could never do that? >> no. it would be against what i believe the scripture teaches. so that's where i think the rub comes in of people like myself. it's not that i'm against anybody. or, you know, if people want to live together, that's up to them. but my faith, when we say marriage -- i mean, i think about, piers, all through the bible there's hundreds of marriages but none of them are shown as between, you know, the same sex. and again, i'm not against anything. but i just believe that's what the bible teaches. and that's how we've chosen -- >> so you feel a bit uneasy. the last person i heard speaking about this was mahmoud ahmadinejad, who's the president of iran who says there are no
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gay people in iran and it's a terrible sin and curse. victoria, what do you think of all this, the gay marriage debate? could you ever imagine attending a gay marriage between two people who come to your church, for example, if they invited you? >> i think if it was that easy, then we would have figured it out by now. but it's been overthrown. states go for it and then they overthrow it -- >> but accepting an invitation is easy. so would you accept one or not? >> would i accept one? >> two gay people who attend your church invite you to their wedding? >> sure, i would go. >> you would? >> well, you know, if i had time, i would. >> joel? >> if they were friends of mine and i respect them, i would certainly go. >> you would watch two people you think are sinners committing the ultimate sin? >> well, i'm looking at it -- i don't think it's the ultimate sin. but i'm looking at it from another point of view of respect to that person. and, you know, it gets convoluted. but i'm looking at it as respect to that person. >> could you in your position actually actively encourage people to go through a same-sex
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marriage? could you be seen to -- could you be photographed at such an event? >> well, i would not -- >> would that not cause you problems? >> well, you know, it's such a hypothetical. i'm talking -- >> well, not really. because you said lots of gay people go to your church. so it might happen. >> well, i haven't been to any weddings lately to begin with, but i'm talking about somebody that was, you know, dear to us. i'm not going to disrespect somebody that's dear to us and say, you know what? you're not good enough for us or something like that. that's the way i would see it. now, i'm not going to just run off and go attend, you know, certain marriages just to make a statement because that's not who i am and that's not what i stand for. and again, i don't look down on those people. >> we'll have another break. let's talk a little more about politics. i know it's a bit of a minefield for you. i'm curious what you think of all the republican runners and writers at the moment, who's been catching your eye as potentially a leader for america. [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun.
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back with joel and victoria osteen. let's talk politics for a moment, joel, because i know this is a bit -- as i said before the break, a bit of a minefield. but of all the republican runners and riders in the race so far to be the nominee, who do you think is the most impressive leader potentially that you've seen?
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>> piers, they all look like great leaders to me. >> that's a terrible answer. >> no. i can't pick out one. governor perry is the governor of texas, a friend of ours. i've never met mitt. i never met mitt romney, but he looks fantastic. and smart people. i can go down the row. but i don't know. >> rick perry is not going to be your friend much longer if you keep saying how fantastic mitt romney is. >> well -- >> you have to make your mind up somewhere down the line, don't you? back the right horse here. >> to me i'm taking it all in like everybody else. i'm just an outsider looking in. >> you are a republican, aren't you? you have to be. >> well, i've voted both ways before. >> really? >> but i'm conservative. you know. that's who i've always been. >> you're very conservative, aren't you? you would say? >> i like to vote on the candidate. >> who do you like? >> who do i like out there? i'm still watching. >> right now if you had to put an "x" by someone's name -- >> good thing i don't have to right now because it's too early in the race. >> victoria, what do you think are the key issues in society today? what do you think people most
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care about? >> i think -- are you talking about political issues -- >> anything. when people come to your church, what's really -- >> they care about their relationships. their relationships, their finances and their health. >> i would say that's what most people care most about. do you think politicians today are doing the right kind of thing or are they too busy squabbling with each other in washington to understand as clearly as you just defined it what the real issues are for people in america? >> yes, i think they're squabbling too much. >> huh? >> yes, i think they're squabbling too much. >> they're spending a lot of time shouting at each other. >> yes. >> we've already discussed you don't shout. when you see them all ranting and raving and being deliberately obstructive to get things done, what do you think? >> well, i think like most americans i would hope that they would work together. and what i see that's difficult these days is any kind of compromise. you know, it's hard to get 100% of what you want. you know? just like some of these issues we're talking about. i think it's getting more difficult for some people to
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have some type of compromise to say nothing's going to get done if we don't all come together. that would be my hope, that we would -- you know, but it's difficult. >> are you comfortable with a mormon becoming president? if mitt romney won, for example, or jon huntsman? i mean, they're both mormons. would you be comfortable with that? >> you know, i'm comfortable with -- that would not stop me from voting for somebody. i would look at the total candidate, though. you know, what's their experience? what's their education? what do they stand for? i don't think i would vote for somebody just because they're a mormon or anything like that. >> are there aspects to mormonism which you find offensive? >> i don't know a lot about it. and here i go again but -- >> how can you keep saying that? >> i don't know a lot about it. here's the thing. >> i bet you do. you don't want me to think you know lots about it. otherwise, it makes the argument more difficult. >> well, you know, i haven't studied it. i hear things from time to time. there are certain things about the mormon religion that i don't agree with. >> like what? >> i think there's different degrees in religion, too. it's just like being a christian.
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you could say these people think it's okay to do this, this, and this, and they're christian. and these people say oh, no, we don't -- like you're saying the catholic church. well, they won't let you do this, this, and this. so i think it has to do with degrees of how much you practice that religion -- >> what are the things about mormonism which are awkward for you? >> you know, i don't know enough about their beliefs to point out what they are, to articulate it well. here's what i believe. mitt romney says that he believes jesus is the son of god, that he believes jesus is his savior. that's -- to me, those are the foundational things when i look at somebody, could i vote for them. do they believe in the major things like me. i don't know what all the other church doctrine is. >> could you vote for a jewish candidate? >> sure, i could vote for a jewish candidate. i mean, jews, that's how our faith was started. they're god's chosen people in the scripture. i mean, sure i could. >> so you don't really mind particularly what religion. could you vote for a muslim candidate? >> well, i think -- i think i could. i would have to look at it all.
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but i would have to look at, you know, it's so hypothetical. because, you know, if we're talking about for america, you know, 90% of america is christian. so i am pretty sure that i would find somebody that more shares my beliefs and is educated and qualified. so it's hard for me to go there because i don't think we'll come to that point. >> what do you make of what's going on with the palestinians and the israelis right now? >> well, it's a difficult situation. it's been that way for so many years. i mean, like the scripture says, we pray for peace for over there. we stand with the israeli people. our hearts go out to the palestinian people as well. they want peace. they want to live their life in victory. you know, it's a difficult thing. >> you both went out there recently, i think, to israel, right? >> we did. we went out in february. >> tell me about that. how did you find it? >> we found it very peaceful. it's amazing. a country that has been under such conflict for so long. you know, you hear stories in america like it's dangerous and, you know, you see, like, the
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worst. but you go in there, and the people are very solid. they're very peaceful. they have a lot of confidence in the fact that they're going to be okay. yes, they want to fight for what they feel like is rightfully theirs. but it was quite interesting. we had a night of hope over there. and we had -- the auditorium was full. we had a wonderful time. and we just -- we thought it was a very fascinating -- it really brings the bible alive. you go to these places, you know, where jesus walked, where he prayed, where the disciples were, you know, the sea of galilee. we found it fascinating. >> does it worry you that so many areas of conflict in the world are religion prompted? >> well, i don't -- >> sort of goes against the grain, doesn't it? in terms of the theory of these things. as opposed to all peace-loving religions. but they all turn out to be excuses to kill people. >> well, it's been that way for hundreds if not thousands of years. so it is a shame that we can't get along and the day we're living in today that you would think you would still have to kill people to try to get your point of view.
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you know, it is difficult. but you just have to keep believing and hoping and praying. you know. i think that's all you can do in some of these situations. >> we'll take another break, come back and talk about osteen incorporated. the burgeoning empire of the number one rock star preacher in the world. how can you get back pain relief that lasts up to 16 hours? with thermacare heatwraps. thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles for up to 16 hours of relief. that's 8 hours while you wear it, plus an additional 8 hours of relief after you take it off. can your patch, wrap, cream or rub say that? so if you've got pain... get up to 16 hours of pain relief with thermacare.
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you're going to have everything god intended for you to have. i believe it and declare it over each one of you. if you receive it, can you say amen tonight? [ applause ] amen. >> from the osteens' american night of hope event in chicago. joel and victoria back with me now. some of the stats on your business empire are quite extraordinary. is one of the top streaming sites in the world with 500,000 viewers. on itunes you get 4 million downloads a month to your podcast. you have a million daily requests for your e-mailed daily inspirational message. i mean, this is the stuff of empires. huh? aired in 100 countries. do you ever stop to think, wow, how did this happen? >> i do. i do stop to think about that often. especially, piers, when i never planned on doing this. i mean, 12 years ago i was running camera at my dad's church, doing the production, things like that. i never thought i'd get out in front of people.
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i never wanted to do it. i like being behind the scenes. but when my dad died, i felt like down in here i was supposed to step up and pastor the church. i'd never ministered in public before and never dreamed it would grow. but here we are. >> i mean, you make vast sums of money. you think the church takes in $18 million a year. but all of that gets plowed back into the church. is that right? >> that's correct. >> but on the books, which sell by the squillion, you keep all the cash. >> well, we give. we're big givers. i promise you that. >> takers as well? keep some of it? >> we do. >> when you have to pay the light bill. >> exactly. but you're like multimillionaires, aren't you? >> we don't have any problem -- i don't think god has any problem with you being blessed. it's where your heart is. our heart was never to go out and make money and let's become rich and do this and that. it's let's fulfill our purpose. >> but you like being rich? >> i like being able to help others. i like being able to fulfill my dreams. it takes money to do what we're doing. >> you're like willie wonka as you sort of walk around bailing
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people out. when you hear about problems you swing by the villages and the towns. not villages. you know. are you like that? you give to people who come to you for help? >> sure. sure. we give to people. the church gives to people. we support works overseas. we work with organizations to get child sponsorships to feed and clothe and educate children. we feel like that's why god gives you influence, to help the world, to make it a better place. >> what do you think when president obama brings in as he wants to a new tax on the super rich. everyone over $1 million. which would include you guys. do you feel he's on the right track? he's on the right track? should the rich be paying more tax? would you happily write more money to the treasury? >> you know, piers, again, it's so far out of my league. i would do -- >> well, i'm asking you personally. would you mind paying more tax? >> well, i wouldn't be foolish. i don't mind doing what is agreed upon by the government. we will be great citizens and not complain. whatever the right thing to do is. >> that's a different kind of question. would you like it?
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>> no. i'd rather have all the money and the government run great without the money and i'd give it away to other people. but you know, i don't think -- obviously, it's not practical. we've got to, you know, have infrastructure and all the other. >> what do you think ideologically, i'll ask you, victoria, of the principle of rich people paying more tax generally? >> well, you know, i think they pay a good -- i pay a good amount of taxes right now as it is. so, you know, i think that the so you know, i think that the theory of taxing the rich has been kind of -- the conservative thought is that the more you tax the rich the less they're going to be able to bring on new jobs and to do these things. >> do you actually believe all that? isn't it just a convenient thing that rich people come out with? >> i don't know. i think it's interesting when the luxury tax was applied that, you know, it's just -- it's not like they're just trying to spend money. they quit spending money. so they took the luxury tax away. so you know, i think it's a complicated issue. i think that you know, just like you, you know, do you want to pay more taxes?
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>> i wouldn't mind paying more tax. i think in principle -- funny enough, americans pay a lot less tax than we do in britain, for example. a lot less. which may be why we're in the financial crisis we're in now. but for a long time the tax rates have been a lot higher in britain. and i don't have a problem with that. i don't have a problem with the ideology of the rich paying a higher tax bracket than the poor. but many people in america do. i think part of that is the class structure here, unlike in britain where it depends on who your parents were and where you went to school and the kind of accent you have, in america it's much more based around working hard, achieving success and the money comes with that. you're the perfect examples of it. it's a different class structure, isn't it? >> i think it is. you know, i agree with what victoria said. even what you said. we don't mind paying to help others as long as it's done fair and somebody has figured out the best way to do it. we're not going to -- we live in a great country. we feel blessed to live here and the freedom and the -- just the -- you know, just the freedom we
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have every day to not have to think about anything. you know, it's a blessed place to live. >> we began this interview with happiness and happy talk. and we're going to end it with that. we're going to come back after the break and talk about the next generation of osteens. the future for the empire. hey guys, i know i told you that head & shoulders is for more than dandruff. how it gives me a healthy scalp and great looking hair. but who used mine up? it was hines. seriously? you lying fool. [ male announcer ] head & shoulders: seven benefits, every bottle. no, i wouldn't use that single miles credit card. nice ring. knock it off. ignore him. with the capital one venture card you earn... double miles on every purchase. [ sharon ] 3d is so real larry. i'm right here larry. if you're not earning double miles...
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back with the osteens. you'll be pleased to know this is the final segment. three minutes of hell left, joel, and you're off the hook again. do you like being interviewed or do you find it a bit of a minefield? >> you know what? i enjoy it. i don't always know the -- you know, the subjects i'm not always familiar with. but i enjoy talking with different people. especially you. >> your two children are both beginning to show signs of real talent. alexandra sings, she's 13. jonathan's in a band as well. he's 16. would you like them to do what you did, take over the business if you suddenly weren't around? would you be happy with that? >> i'd be thrilled. you know, nothing greater than for your children to follow in your legacy. i mean, i can't call them. i can't make them. i think it has to be a calling that they feel from on high. but, you know, what i like about them is thai way further along than i was at that age.
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i wouldn't get up in front of people. they're very comfortable and great kids. >> do they have to lead really squeaky clean lives? 16-year-old boys normally, certainly where i come from, this is around the time they're getting into too many pints of cider and running back in the bike sheds with their favorite girl in the town. are you going to have to keep an extra close eye because you're osteens? everyone is looking to trip them up? >> i never feel like it's like that. we try to set a good example in front of them and do our best. but they're great kids. i'm sure they're going to have challenges like we all do, but i don't feel -- my parents were never strict on me. they never made me go to church. we went to church because all of our friends were there. they're the same way. my daughter had me getting to church at 7:00 the other morning. i said i don't want to get there that early. she said we're all getting there early. but that's what they like. all their friends are there. sometimes when you overpressure, i mean, i think the key, piers is to set a good example at home. we have fun and we don't have to have a lot of other things to make us happy. >> could you enjoy all this
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without victoria? because even there she was looking at you really adoringly. >> i wouldn't enjoy it half as much. i don't think i would be half of who i am without victoria. she has spoken faith and vision into me from the beginning. before i was ever a pastor. sitting there when my dad was ministering. she used to say one day you're going to pastor the church. and that would make me mad. i would say i can't pastor the church. i don't know how to speak. i don't know how to minister. but she just kept speaking those -- faith into me. so we have fun together, too. we take life seriously, but we have fun together. >> victoria, how do you have fun together? what's he talking about? >> oh, well, we have good conversations. we like to do a lot of outdoor things together. we work together -- >> what's his favorite thing you like to do together, on a friday when you're feeling your happiest, what's the thing you most like? what's your perfect friday? >> well, we like to have a good dinner and we like to either ride our bikes or we like to just hang out and talk or you know, we may have a few friends over. >> do you love him as much as you did the day you first met him? >> absolutely.
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and i respect him even more. >> what's the secret of the joel osteen magic, do you think? >> well, i think he's a man of what -- of his word. he's always looking for the best in any situation. he's very respectful. he's very generous. and he's very kind and he's extremely wise. >> would you agree with all that, joel? >> that and more. >> i left a few things out. he's good-looking. >> you can't ignore it. you must get some groupies. doesn't he? >> oh, i have some kind people. i don't call them groupies but people that -- you know, they feel like you've helped them. listen -- >> no, i mean attractive younger women wanting to throw themselves at you? do you get them? >> i don't -- >> are you a proper like tom jones? >> no. not in the work we do. i mean, there's people that are respectful. but i don't ever feel that. >> victoria, do you ever have to step in and just, back off, he's mine? you do that? >> well, you know, it's funny because when i'm out even by myself, this is what women say to me.